Amarone della Valpolicella "La Stropa"


40% Corvina/30% Corvinone/20% Rondinella/10% Oseleta & Molinara. From certified-biodynamic estate vines ranging from 25-65 years old, the same ones from which Monte dall'Ora makes their entry-level Saseti and their ripasso Saustò. The vineyard is a south-facing hillside of ancient terraces that have been slowly restored by the Venturini family over time (segments of it are still consist of old stone walls overgrown completely with trees, wild vines and other plant life). The vines are cultivated in pergola rather than in guyot, all the better to see and manage the plants as well as to protect the bunches from the sun and to keep them far from the moisture of the ground. The soils are crumbly limestone over limestone mother rock.

Harvest for the amarone happens 2-3 weeks before same for Saseti and Saustò in order ensure higher-acid, fully healthy fruit. Each bunch is carefully selected by hand in multiple passes through the vineyard. The bunches are placed in single layers in small, slatted wooden boxes that are stacked in the open-sided fruttaio next to the house/cellar. The drying process lasts around 4 months in this well-ventilated, cool space. The fruit is then destemmed, gently crushed and dropped into low-sided, open-topped oak vats. Fermentation is entirely spontaneous and takes 30 to 40 days with daily foot-treading; it goes to near-total dryness (1-2 grams maximum of residual sugar). The wine is aged in a 25-hectoliter botte for 3 years, followed by 2.5 more years in bottle. It is named for the stropa or "switch" from the native weeping willow, used historically in Valpolicella and by Monte dall'Ora to tie the vines to their pergolas; each wax-capped bottle is adorned with an actual stropa as well. While DOCG law permits the use of up to half of a harvest for amarone production, Monte dall'Ora restricts it to 15-20% of theirs in order to maintain their hands-on, top-quality standard.

95+ points
"The darkly alluring 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Stropa smolders up from the glass with a beguiling mix of ground ginger, crushed ashen stone, sugar-dusted black cherries and cloves. This floods the palate with an intense wave of ripe medicinal cherry and blackberry, accentuated by a pretty inner sweetness yet contrasted by a pop of brisk acidity that adds tension toward the close. The 2013 finishes dramatically long and primary with youthfully grippy tannins and a potent staining of residual fruits. Cedar and licorice hints slowly fade. So powerful but also energetic, the 2013 has outstanding cellaring potential."
Eric Guido,
Vinous Media
December 2022

Product Line: 
Corvina blend
Farming Type: